Busch Gardens® Tampa has welcomed another endangered western lowland gorilla. The female gorilla was born on Feb. 6 at 8:30 p.m. and is being cared for by 27-year-old mother Mary.
“The first month will be the critical period as the mother, Mary, and the infant begin to integrate into the current gorilla troop, so the Busch Gardens animal care team will be monitoring their progress closely,” said Jeff Andrews, vice president of zoological operations for Busch Gardens.
This is Busch Gardens’ third successful gorilla birth. Bolingo, the suspected sire, was the park’s first gorilla birth in 2005. The mother, Mary, came to Busch Gardens in February 2010 from Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas with daughter Pele, who just gave birth this past December to baby Enzi.
This birth is part of Busch Gardens’ participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP). The mission of the SSP is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species populations within AZA-accredited facilities. Busch Gardens’ participation helps create genetically diverse, self-sustaining populations to guarantee the long-term future of these animals.
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Busch Gardens is owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™, one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a worldwide leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The company cares for one of the largest animal collections in North America and has helped lead advances in the care of species in zoological facilities and in the conservation of wild populations.